Brand visualization to see how products meet expectations
Paper Edition | Page: 16
As you stare at a pile of paperwork on your desk, or feel frustrated trapped in a Jakarta traffic jam or watch the clock while engaged in another hours-long meeting, try to visualize someone coming up to you with a cup of freshly brewed Starbucks just for you.
The refreshing smell will brighten your spirit for the rest of the day. It would be even be better to walk down the street to smell the fresh aroma of coffee beans brewing, to be greeted by a friendly barista, and sitting down in a comfy corner for a while enjoying yourself at the coffee shop.
If your visualization is similar to mine, then Starbucks’ brand promise has delivered people’s expectations. Starbucks is a place to be served a fine drink, to enjoy it and one that provides a welcoming environment for working and relaxing.
Brand promise comes to life when customers are satisfied with the brand experience they feel. At Starbucks, customers are ensured that the couches and tables are comfortable; a barista is friendly and knowledgeable; the background music and also the print visualization that comes in the form of photos and brochures are all in alignment.
The designers with their own respective skills are put together in the same room to brainstorm for Starbucks. The interior designer, graphic designer and photographer share their abilities to make Starbucks a better place to be.
In marking its 40th anniversary, Starbucks rolled out its new logo, dropping the Starbucks’ text and replacing it with just an icon, like Apple, Target or Nike. With time and consistency of product and service quality, Starbucks can be assured that people will not miss the logo even without the text surrounding it. By having a good experience again and again with Starbucks, customers have built a positive relationship with the brand over the years. This has created a link between the name and the icon. Successful brand promise makes sure the brand matches our expectations.
According to Wikipedia, a visual memory occurs over a broad range of time, spanning from eye movements to years in order to visually navigate to a previously visited location. A visual memory is a form of memory which preserves some characteristics of our senses pertaining to a visual experience.
If that is the case, then what we put on the screen on websites, photographs and imagery as well as the environment and services must be in alignment with the brand promise. We all know that a picture speaks a thousand words. It is much more effective than writing paragraphs of text. If combined together, then they will make an impactful message.
Every brochure and photo contributes to the visual imagery of a Starbucks coffee shop, where we can see an alignment of brand promise that the brand offers to customers. In it, we see the enjoyment of every cup of Starbucks coffee through a close-up photo of a coffee mug, the plantation in which the best coffee beans are produced, and the people who are in partnership with Starbucks, the farmer and the brewer, all enjoying what they do.
This visual imagery tells a story about the product and what the producers believe in. It delivers a promise to its target market on what to expect. It reveals heritage, quality, service and values.
And finally it turns to brand imagery. Where you can link a certain brand with a distinctive mental picture. Visual imagery of a brand delivers the message of your brand clearly, and connects your brand promise with the target market in an emotional way. This will motivate customers and lead to an established loyalty.
Put it all together and we have a brand visualization that will be tested throughout the years. Brand visualization is the link in which services, place, quality and imagery come together. It enables companies to translate their positioning and branding effort into something that people can see, feel and experience. Brand visualization in photography gives birth to a photography guideline that translates and communicates your brand promises to the public and this will make an interpretation for customers about who you are and what you do.
A photography guideline is something that should be incorporated into your advertising and designs, the more you make a consistent brand visualization, the more it becomes associated with your brand, at the end of the day that is what branding is all about. It is about being consistent and recognizable for the products and services that your brand has to offer.
When your brand visualization is consistently presented and tested, people will want to become part of your brand and get involved with what your brand has to offer. Starbucks has nailed it with its picturesque consistency, nowadays, when you see a Starbucks’ brochure lying around, you instantly recognize it as Starbucks without looking at the icon.
Diana Widjaja is managing partner at DM IDHOLLAND and Daniel Surya is its chairman and president for Southeast Asia.
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